For the first time in the Leonard Hamilton Era, Florida State is opening the season with a loss.
Florida State raised its Atlantic Coast Conference championship banner before its season opener on Friday night. But the team that took the floor struggled in every way.
Antoine Allen came off the bench to score 21 points and lead South Alabama to a 76-71 season-opening upset of No. 24 Florida State.
Allen made four 3-pointers as South Alabama connected on 9 of 15 shots (60 percent) from beyond the arc.
“They were a little tougher than we were,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “They played with a lot more maturity. They executed their game plan better than we did.”
The Seminoles had won 10 straight season openers coming in to Friday’s game – every game since Hamilton arrived on campus. And Florida State had routed South Alabama 80-39 on November 20, 2011, in Tallahassee.
But on Friday, Florida State struggled late in shooting just 10 of 28 (35.7 percent) from the floor in the second half. The Seminoles also had 17 turnovers and just nine assists.
Sophomore Terry Whisnant and freshman Montay Brandon had 11 points apiece to lead the Seminoles.
Senior guard Michael Snaer had 10 points at the half, but was held scoreless in the second half. He shot 2 of 11 form the floor for the game.
Ian Miller also shot 2 of 7 from the floor for the Seminoles.
Brandon, a freshman, shot 3 of 5 from the floor and made all five of his free throws for Florida State.
Terrance Shannon returned from a shoulder injury to score 10 points and pulled down nine rebounds for Florida State. Shannon played in just seven games last season after having season-ending surgery in November.
“The biggest thing with us is we have to have a short-term memory,” Shannon said. “Put this game in the past and move on. We know we are young. We know it’s going to take time.”
Augustine Rubit also had 12 points and Mychal Ammons had 11 points and 11 rebounds for South Alabama, which defeated ranked Florida in the 2009-10 season.
Five Jaguars scored in double figures.
"Our defense is just horrendous right now," Snaer said. "We’re not tough enough. I don’t know how else to put it."
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